The other night, Byron Buxton had what was initially called an inside-the-park home run. It ended up being overturned on review, for some reason that I still don’t really want to comprehend.
He went ahead and got one for real last night.
That got me thinking—the inside the parker is a rare feat, has it ever been done two games in a row?
The short answer, in my cursory research, is no. I haven’t been able to find any trace of a player doing it in two games in a row. Once upon a time, the fields were big and the game was wild, and four-base hits without the ball leaving the field of play were common. Those times don’t exactly have the best records available, so it is possible I’ve missed it occuring, but it doesn’t seem to have happened.
Throughout the history of baseball, inside-the-parkers have occurred roughly once in every 158 homers, and at a relative decreasing rate since the 1920’s.
Hitting two in one game has happened more than a few times—and once by a Twin. Greg Gagne, facing Floyd Bannister of the White Sox, managed to hit two inside the park home runs in a single game, which occurred on October 4, 1986. Gagne was the most recent of 17 AL players to do so.
While Gagne’s feat is unlikely to be topped in the near future, Buxton is as likely as any Twin to do so. Meanwhile, Buxton almost did something Gagne never did, and perhaps no other player has either.
Had Angel Hernandez not overturned the initial call on Monday, stats researchers everywhere would be cashing in overtime trying to find an answer. For now, I’ll say Buxton did something impressive, whether its a record or not.
Let us know in the comments if you can find a time that a player has hit inside the park home runs in two consecutive games.